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Pedestrian Verse

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Feb. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATLANTIC
  • ASIN: B00A1XIXKK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,229 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Pedestrian Verse is the fourth studio album from Scottish indie-rockers Frightened Rabbit and represents their first release on a major label; Atlantic Records.

BBC Review

Its title deliberately chosen by the band’s gifted lyricist Scott Hutchinson to challenge himself, Frightened Rabbit’s fourth album, Pedestrian Verse, is full to bursting with words and descriptions that are anything but.

After a diversion into more oblique themes and imagery on their previous release, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, the band now return to the full power of their earliest work.

Opener Acts of Man sees Hutchinson’s falsetto croon weave tales of modern antiheros – “the cad in the kitchen, giving wine to your best girl’s glass”, “the amateur pornographer”, or men that “promise every girl we marry / We’ll always love them, and we probably won’t”.

The band doesn’t sit above this cavalcade of wrongs, though. The song ends with Hutchinson admitting he, too, is “sorry, selfish, trying to improve” and “not heroic”, the tacked on “…but I try” giving the song its emotional pay-off.

Similarly wonderful is State Hospital’s clear-eyed depiction of the birth and young life of its protagonist, “Brought home to breathe smoke in the arms of her mother”, growing up to become “all thighs, hair and magpie handbag”, all the while the chorus reminding us that “her heart beats like a breezeblock thrown down the stairs”.

The focus on family and parenthood – in the least sentimental way imaginable – is notable throughout, from Acts of Man’s reluctant, accidental fathers to Housing (in)’s evocation of “the starch of the family food”.

Religion too looms large, often intertwined with imagery of death, sin, loss, and there is a thread of violence – honestly depicted and resolutely unglamorised – as well. The lyrical clarity and emotional honesty shine through, though, with the warm sense of a band that genuinely both cares about and has lived the lives described.

Hutchinson’s tender Scottish brogue spins tales that encompass the big themes – religion, family, violence, love, loss – but his words hone in on the personal rather than the general in a way that is enthralling and humanising. Throughout, the lyrical clarity and emotional honesty of the band shine through, creating an album that is as much uplifting as it is in parts bleak.

--Jude Clarke

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"You find out that life is just a game of inches," said Al Pacino in a memorable speech in the film "Any Given Sunday". Scott Hutchinson the vocal and songwriting driving force of Scotland's finest Frightened Rabbit would recognise the sentiment. The Frabbit's career has been a stately slow burn, particularly in the UK. Their debut the "Midnight Organ Fight" remains one of the most precious break-up albums ever, but its predecessor 2010's "The Winter of Mixed Drinks" didn't really stamp its full authority, languished in the playoffs and the band still await promotion to the premier division.

"Pedestrian Verse" is their fourth album and as the "fingers crossed review" in the Independent smartly puts it "here's hoping they can also Elbow their way into the mainstream" (Boom boom!). The chances of this are very good as "Pedestrian Verse" is an album which shows that Hutchinson's ability to combine soaring passion with often bleak musical lyricism and mix it into powerhouse songs has increased exponentially. Just listen to the brilliant lead single "The Woodpile" a mix of massive swirling guitars and a chorus so huge it obscures the sun, as Hutchinson pleads "Will you come back to my corner?/Spent too long alone tonight/Would you come and Brighten my corner/A Lit torch to the woodpile eye". Do yourself a favour also seek to check out the "supermarket incident" video that goes with this. The album's opener "Acts of man" again is a big anthem but underpinned by almost Roger Waters like cynicism.
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It's hard to put my finger on exactly why but this is quite possibly Frightened Rabbit's finest release to date. Lyrically, they've moved up a level from 'The Winter of Mixed Drinks'. In fact there's lyrical gems to be found in every song. Gems on a par with, quite possibly the best band around at the minute, The National.

'So if we can't bring an exorcist/I'll settle for one of your stiffest drinks' from 'Dead now' is typical of Scott Hutchison's dark sense of humour. It's not all bleak though and despite the fact that it doesn't retain the reborn again optimism of 'The Winter of Mixed Drinks', there's an optimistic streak running throughout 'Pedestrian Verse'.

When the Talking Head's inspired 'Dead Now' reaches it's climax, the chorus of 'There's something wrong with me' doesn't sound self-pitying but something triumphant along the lines of The National's 'Abel'

Sonically too, they're stretching themselves further and they've found a wonderful collaborator and producer in Leo Abrahams, a frequent partner of Brian Eno these days. He adds a spritely sense of urgency to some of the songs whilst lending deft sonic touches to some of the mid tempo songs recalling some of Brian Eno's best production work.

Rather inevitably, people who are fans of FR will ask if this is better than 'The Midnight Organ Fight'. I can't answer that at this point as 'TMOF' means an awful lot to a lot of people, including me. I think it just might be though.

One thing is for sure, Frightened Rabbit are in a league of their own and I'd be hard pressed to compare them to any other band out there at the minute.
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Two stars for the only two parts of this album I listen to anymore:

* The genius bass that anchors and rides out Acts of Man beginning at "I am just like all the rest of them: Sorry, selfish, trying to improve".
* The bridge in The Oil Slick.

Why was Boxing Night left off this? It's one of your most amazing songs, Scott!
I was incredibly disappointed with the lack of hooks this album but also the fact that it never seems to grow over time either.

Owl John was a masterpiece, and I'm excited about the new album due this year. Let's hope it's better than this.
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This is a brilliant album, although took a couple of listens to fully ignite. In my mind, possibly the strongest album just after Midnight Organ Fight. It's been a lot of fun watching this band grow since I first saw them in '05. Glad to see that they're continually growing in popularity.
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I bought the CD + DVD edition after reading a favourable review in the FT which led me to watch The Woodpile video on Youtube. I'm so pleased I took a chance!
I'd not heard of Frightened Rabbit before but I'm familiar with Idlewild and Malcolm Middleton who they remind me of. The music is excellent even if I feel like I've heard it all before - I'm aged 58 so I probably have!
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In a world where the LP album is disappearing its good that some bands are still trying to put thought into producing great albums from start to finish. This is definately one which you turn on and have listened right through before you know it. Pedestrian Verse is a great album and will surely be in many album of the year lists come December.
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